I struggled with writing this fall; and not because I was busy (though I was) or distracted (though I was), but I kept gravitating toward what I did not want to write about. There was an issue in my extended family that I was angry about and I couldn’t stop writing about it.
Every time I sat down to write, a torrent of anger and hurt and accusations poured out of me. Not confessional—accusatory. It left me feeling drained, trapped in a cycle of writing about what I would never want read. Some writers like to write about those things but I find that I do not; no matter how hurtful a loved one has been, I don’t feel its right to make it public.
So I stopped writing poetry for a while. Bryan and I worked on a lovely book together—about creativity and worship—and we got quite a bit written on it within a couple months. Bryan wanted a break to work on more songwriting, so, to keep avoiding poetry, I plunged into research.
Then we went to Boston. And we walked the Boston streets, and were just the two of us, a couple, again. I sat in famous Room 222 and listened to poets talk poetry. Poets I admire encouraged me that my poetry was still worth pursuing after-all.
But most of all, I stood in an ornate castle of a room, chock full of people who loved poetry and thought it was important, and I read my work. It made such a difference to actually be around people who cared a little about what I did, and to eat and talk and walk with people who cared just as much about poetry as I did.
When we came back, I went back to poetry knowing what I wanted to write about. Its made such a difference—I’m excited to write, writing whenever I can, excited to see where this next book goes.